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Beppu to launch 'onsen' merry-go-round at hot spring amusement park

A still image from the promotion video released online by the Beppu Municipal Government.

BEPPU, Oita -- Beppu Mayor Yasuhiro Nagano said on March 28 that his city will take advantage of its rich hot springs resources to launch an "onsen" amusement park featuring a hot spring merry-go-round.

    The project will be made possible with 27 million yen in donations the city has received so far. The city's promotion video released online in November last year drew attention as it featured a merry-go-round and a roller coaster with a bathtub for each seat, among other attractions. Mayor Nagano promised at that time that he would open what he called a "yu-enchi" (spa amusement park) if the video received 1 million viewers. The video attracted more than 1 million viewers within three days from its release. The municipal government started raising contributions in February for a project to realize some of the play equipment featured in the video between July 29 and 31.

    Besides the merry-go-round, the city government is planning to also launch a suspension bridge attraction which sprays hot water through sprinklers, "jet-type" play equipment that spins in the mist, an "onsen" water slide, and other attractions. The city is aiming to raise a cumulative total of 30 million yen in donations, and if it achieves the goal, it will launch a target shooting range with water pistols, as well as a duck race which visitors watch while taking a footbath.

    Mayor Nagano said, "We want to pursue the ultimate goal of receiving more than 100 million yen by the time when we open the amusement park."

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